Ohio State Buckeyes: Ryan Day names starting quarterback

Ohio State football coach Ryan Day finally named C.J. Stroud his starting quarterback for the Buckeyes’ seasonopener at Minnesota.

Stroud, who will replace Big Ten MVP Justin Fields, has been the perceived leader since the start of spring football, but Day consistently resisted giving any indication how he viewed the race.

That changed Monday when he confirmed Stroud, a redshirt freshman from California, had built a lead over classmate Jack Miller III and true freshman Kyle McCord through the beginning of preseason camp.

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“We’re proud of him,” Day said Saturday. “The other guys in the room understand this is a long season, and that room needs to be strong.

“I think that whole room has had a good camp, and it has gotten better.”

Stroud will be the third freshman to start a seasonopener for the Buckeyes.

True freshman Art Schlichter was the first in 1978. He got the nod over returning starter Rod Gerald as the Buckeyes opened against No. 5 Penn State, and it did not go well.

Schlichter, a much-ballyhooed recruit from Washington Court House Miami Trace, completed only 12 oof 26 passes and threw five interceptions as Ohio State lost 19-0.

J.T. Barrett, a redshirt freshman from Texas, started the seasonopener against Navy in 2014 and completed 12 of 15 passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 50 yards as the Buckeyes won 34-17.

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While Schlichter struggled in his first season, the other three faired much better.

Barrett and true freshmen Terrelle Pryor (2008) and Braxton Miller (2011) all were named Big Ten Freshman of the Year, and the Buckeyes won the conference in ‘08 and ‘14.

They went on to win the national championship in ‘14, though Barrett missed the last three games after suffering a broken leg in a win over Michigan.

Schlichter also went on to a fine career in Scarlet and Gray, finishing his career as Big Ten MVP and the holder of almost every Ohio State passing record.

He was a first-round NFL Draft pick, but his career and ultimately life were derailed by gambling and related legal troubles.

He was 2-2 against Michigan while the three went a combined 9-1.

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Miller was named Big Ten MVP twice while Barrett won the award once. They combined for five Big Ten Quarterback of the Year honors (an award did not exist until 2011), and Miller was also the conference offensive player of the year twice.

Barrett finished his career with a Big Ten record 12,697 yards of total offense.

Miller is third on the Big Ten’s career rushing list for a quarterback with 3,314 yards while Barret is fourth with 3,263.

Pryor led the conference in passing efficiency in 2008 while Miller did so in ‘13 and Barrett did so in ‘14 and ‘17.

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